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Posts for August, 2008

Insure.com Pulls Cameron Quotes

Timothy Kincaid

August 15th, 2008

insuredotcom.bmpIn June we noticed that Insure.com, an online insurance broker, was making false and defamatory statements about gay men in two of his articles. Specifically, the articles – which were written by Insure.com staff – relied on a non-representative AIDS study from the early 90’s and fraudulent “researcher” Paul Cameron to claim “the life expectancy of gay males to be at least 20 years below average”.

We brought this to the attention of Bob Bland, Insure.com’s CEO, and provided careful documentation and resources to show that he and his site were relying on Paul Cameron’s fraudulent “research” and on deliberately misstated conclusions from an HIV study at the height of the AIDS crisis. Bland promised to look into the situation.

After several inquiries and after the statements stayed up on Insure.com for another six weeks, we deduced that Bland had no intention of verifying our information or of removing the denigrating lies. So we brought the site and its claims to your attention.

In response, Bob Bland angrily accused us of wanting to “bash” him and his business. He also tried to equate orientation with HIV status and stood by Cameron’s dishonesty and his site’s defamatory falsehoods stating that he had “no intention of ‘taking (it) down’ because it contains no factual errors and no editorial bias or slant whatsoever.” For which we awarded him and his company the Certified Cameronite Award.

Now it appears that Bland has become better informed.

Gone is the article claiming that gay men die 20 years younger than their counterparts and in it’s place is one that purports to address The life insurance outlook for HIV-positive gay men.

In short, the life insurance outlook for HIV-positive gay men is identical to that of all HIV-positive persons, whatever their gender or orientation. Persons diagnosed with HIV are categorically turned down when wishing to purchase life insurance. While there is clear indication that HIV infected persons are living longer and that this may not be the death sentence that it once was, insurance companies treat HIV infection like heart disease, breast cancer, and other life threatening diseases: with denial.

But as for sexual orientation, this is not a question asked by insurance companies. Which clearly irks the author of Insure.com’s latest piece.

Life insurance pricing is all about assessing “risk,” but so far no life insurance company has taken the leap to collecting information on MSM and judging them to be engaging in “risky behavior.” Information on individual MSM behavior wouldn’t be verifiable, anyway.

Amusingly, Bland and his insurance site are only able to think of gay persons in terms of sex. His article is all about “behavior”, never acknowledging that gay people are defined by their attractions, not by what they do in bed.

And Insure.com isn’t content with providing information about life insurance coverage but feels it necessary to try and equate homosexuality and HIV infection.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states in a June 2007 report, “HIV/AIDS Among Men Who Have Sex with Men,” that men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 71 percent of adult and adolescent males diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2005, thus rendering them ineligible for life insurance coverage at any price. Five to 7 percent of adult and adolescent men identify themselves as MSM, according to the report, so obviously MSM have a much higher risk of contracting the disease — they are anywhere from 32.5 to 46.5 times more likely than other men to be diagnosed. But insurance companies check for the disease, not the behavior.

Missing from that rant is the fact that while HIV is far more prevalent on a pro-rata basis within the gay community, about 88% of gay men and virtually all gay women are HIV-negative.

It’s very evident that Insure.com and its CEO Bob Bland remain dedicatedly anti-gay. And I continue to strongly encourage those persons who are gay and those who have a gay family member or coworker or neighbor or friend to avoid giving their business to an enterprise composed of those who so clearly wish ill of gay men.

But I cannot insist that Bob Bland favor equality and I cannot insist that Insure.com say only favorable things about their gay neighbors. Decency is a way of life that we each choose to adopt or reject. And those who seek to make smearing insinuations do so under a freedom that I cherish.

However, I am also grateful that Insure.com has ceased making statements that are flat-out lies and commend Bland on the removal of Cameron’s bogus “statistics” from his site.

See also:
Aug 15: Insure.com Pulls Cameron Quotes
Jul 17: Certified Cameronite: Insure.com
Jul 14: Insure.com CEO Defends Paul Cameron
Jul 11: Insure.com’s CEO Bob Bland Responds
Jul 11: Insure.com’s Anti-Gay Propaganda

Certified Cameronite: Insure.com

Jim Burroway

July 17th, 2008

Certified Cameronite AwardInsure.com, a popular online insurance quote-comparison portal, is proud of its numerous awards. Its web site brags that it was named “best web site” for two years in a row by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, and the “best life insurance site on the web” by Forbes.com. Insure.com is mentioned every day as a sponsor of Bill O’Reilly’s radio program, with O’Reilly himself voicing the commercials.

Now Insure.com can add another feather to its cap: the Certified Cameronite award for citing the discredited research of holocaust revisionist Paul Cameron.

Last Friday, BTB’s Timothy Kincaid first exposed Insure.com’s false and defamatory article which uses Cameron’s widely-discredited research to claim that gays die, on average, twenty years younger than non-gays. He also reported how Insure.com engaged in deceptive Cameronesque tactics by misrepresenting the findings of another legitimate study from Vancouver conducted at the very height of the AIDS crisis, long before life-saving Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) became widely available.

We have been very hesitant to issue this award to a publicly traded company like Insure.com because we recognize that many people who are not familiar with Cameron’s research may fall prey to his deceptive tactics. We were, however, disturbed to see that the author of Insure.com’s anti-gay smear also engaged in similar Cameron-like misrepresentations by deliberately misquoting from Dr. Robert Hogg, the Canadian researcher who wrote to denounce the widespread misuse of his research by anti-gay extremists.

So Timothy wrote to Insure.com on June 1 to notify them of the problems with their online post. Communications were cordial at first as CEO Robert Bland personally assured us that they don’t have a political stance and that he would look into the claims himself. He asked for one to four weeks to investigate; we ultimately gave him six. Today, those false claims are still on Insure.com’s web site, and Bland has written numerous comments on this web site repeatedly touting Cameron’s credentials.

Since Insure.com still appears to be willfully ignorant about Cameron’s credentials, here they are in a handy, one-stop reference:

  • Cameron was expelled from the American Psychological Association in 1983 for ethical violations
  • Cameron was censured by the Nebraska Psychological Association (where he lived at the time) in 1984 for misrepresenting legitimate social science research.
  • U.S. District Court Judge Jerry Buchmeyer found that Cameron had committed “fraud or misrepresentations” in testimony before the court in 1986.
  • Cameron was censured by the American Sociological Association in 1985 and 1986 for misrepresenting himself as a sociologist (after having been kicked out of the APA), and for ethical violations.
  • Cameron was censured by the Canadian Psychological Association in 1996.
  • Cameron was censured by the Eastern Psychological Association in 2007 for misrepresenting his own research and participation at the group’s convention.

Cameron has written approvingly of how the Nazis “dealt with” homosexuality at the Dachau and Sachsenhausen concentration camps, and he once suggested that exterminating homosexuals might be an option here unless we got “medically lucky.” His obvious hatred for gays and lesbians so poisons everything he writes that Focus On the Family scrubbed their materials of all mention of him more than a decade ago.

In fact, the only people who rely on Cameron anymore are those who occupy the most radical fringes of anti-gay extremists. Insure.com, CEO Robert Bland, and author Joseph White are now officially in their company.

See also:
Aug 15: Insure.com Pulls Cameron Quotes
Jul 17: Certified Cameronite: Insure.com
Jul 14: Insure.com CEO Defends Paul Cameron
Jul 11: Insure.com’s CEO Bob Bland Responds
Jul 11: Insure.com’s Anti-Gay Propaganda

Insure.com CEO Defends Paul Cameron

Timothy Kincaid and Jim Burroway

July 14th, 2008

insuredotcom.bmpLast Friday, Timothy Kincaid revealed for the first time that a popular insurance portal, Insure.com, is hosting false and defamatory anti-gay claims. This follows nearly six weeks of private communications with Insure.com CEO Robert Bland, in which we tried to work with them in resolving the situation.

Soon after Kincaid’s exposé appeared, Mr. Bland wrote a response defending his company’s material, and he has left other comments on this web site which suggest that Insure.com has little interest in factual accuracy or professional responsibility. With these latest comments, whatever hope we first held that Insure.com would act responsibly and in the best interests of their customers, shareholders and participating agencies has now vanished.

In a comment on Kincaid’s article, Mr. Bland wrote:

We expect to take another look at this article over the next 4 weeks because we want to make certain that we encompass all available current research on this topic. We think that there’s a human interest story to be researched here on why all U.S. life insurers decline HIV-positive applicants (many of whom are healthy and have been for two decades) but will not even attempt to segregate gays who, according to a growing body of evidence, may have a much shorter lifespan than non-gays. [emphasis ours]

This comment left us dumbstruck. There simply is no “growing body of evidence” to suggest that gays have a different lifespan — let alone a “much shorter” one — from non-gays. In fact, there’s no evidence for it at all. We challenge Insure.com to show us their “growing body of evidence,” because we certainly haven’t seen it in any of the hundreds of peer-reviewed journals that we continually monitor as part of our work.

Mr. Bland is not unaware that Insure.com’s claims are without merit. This is not an example of benign ignorance or lack of information, which was our assumption when Kincaid first contacted Insure.com on June 1. We both have provided him with evidence that the bases for Insure.com’s anti-gay article are either not relevant or are the product of a discredited anti-gay extremist.

We repeatedly told Mr. Bland about Paul Cameron’s professional misconduct. Kincaid even warned him that relying on Cameron has resulted in public embarrassment of those who quote him, including Secretary of Education William Bennett. Kincaid provided links to detailed analysis, and he advised Mr. Bland to search the Internet for additional information about Mr. Cameron.

This is not difficult to do — Cameron’s reputation is very well known. Even Exodus International, which works closely with Focus On the Family to lobby against civil rights for gays and lesbians, has pulled their references to Paul Cameron. Focus On the Family themselves scrubbed their materials of anything associated with Cameron more than a decade ago. And yet just last Saturday morning, Insure.com’s CEO returned to our web site once again to cite Cameron and his Denmark gay lifespan “study”:

Then, in early 2007, Drs. Paul and Kirk Cameron reported at the Eastern Psychological Association convention that married gays and lesbians lived about 24 fewer years than their married heterosexual counterparts. This time, the Camerons extracted official data from Denmark, the country with the longest history of gay marriage, for 1990-2002. Married heterosexual men died in Denmark die at a median age of 74, while 561 partnered gays died at an average age of 51.

We found this surprising, as we had already provided Mr. Bland with Burroway’s analysis of that study when Kincaid first contacted Insure.com six weeks before. But if Insure.com doesn’t trust our analysis, then maybe they can trust conservative Christian psychology professor Warren Throckmorton. He examined Cameron’s Danish “Gays Die Young” notions and devoted a nine part series to the subject. Throckmorton concluded that the Camerons skewed their findings “to the point where any results cannot be trusted.”

And as insurance professionals, Insure.com surely can trust Dr. Morten Frisch. He’s the senior epidemiologist at Copenhagen’s Statens Serum Institut. Frisch described the Camerons’ report as having “little to do with science… The methodological flaws are of such a grave nature that no decent peer-reviewed scientific journal should let it pass for publication.” But Dr. Morton did manage to find one good thing to say about it:

Although the Camerons’ report has no objective scientific value, the authors should be acknowledged for providing teachers with a humorous example of agenda-driven, pseudo-scientific gobbledygook that will make lessons in elementary study design and scientific inference much more amusing for future epidemiology students.

As for what Drs. Cameron “reported” at the Eastern Psychological Association convention, Burroway wrote EPA president Dr. Phil Hineline in April 2007 to ask about the nature of the Camerons’ participation at the gathering. Dr. Hineline responded with a public letter condemning the Camerons for misrepresenting their participation at the convention. First, the Cameron’s didn’t present a report at all. All they did was participate in a “poster session,” in which they manned a table with a poster of some of their data in a large hall, alongside scores of other presenters. Not to be too condescending about it, but this is more like a science fair for grown-up professionals than a formal presentation before the convention as the Camerons portrayed it. What’s more, Dr. Hineline confirmed that the data they submitted to the EPA had nothing to do with lifespans at all — that had been added later — and he said they would not have been accepted it if it did.

We both tried to disabuse Insure.com’s CEO of the notion that most gay people have HIV, as he appeared to have alluded to such an argument in an earlier email. On June 12, Kincaid explained that at most, perhaps 15% of gay men and almost no gay women have HIV. And yet last Saturday morning, Mr. Bland continued his “gay = AIDS” smear by quoting from a Canadian doctor who said that once diagnosed with HIV, the average lifespan of such a person is 8 to 10 years, and that’s why we all die so much earlier. But even if that “gay = AIDS” canard were true — and it clearly isn’t — we suggest that the Canadian doctor and Mr. Bland read last week’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that the life expectancy of those with HIV is actually approaching something closer to normal.

Our readers have suggested that Insure.com pull down the disputed article until pending verification of its sources. As an insurance portal providing relevant information to its many customers, that would be the prudent thing to do. But instead of following that sensible advice, CEO Bland reposted the entire article as a comment on our web site, saying that Insure.com has “no intention of ‘taking (it) down’ because it contains no factual errors and no editorial bias or slant whatsoever.”

Insure.com is a well-known, publicly traded company. In our private communications with CEO Bland, he reassured us on June 2 that Insure.com has no political agenda, and that in their 24 years in business they have never asked about anyone’s sexual orientation before hiring them. We took them at their word, which is why we waited nearly six weeks before going public with our concerns.

Mr. Bland kept delaying and asking for more time, claiming that “other priorities” interfered with Insure.com’s investigation of the article. But since Friday, Insure.com’s busy CEO has found the time to write several comments on this web site — and on at least one other web site as well — claiming that “Box Turtle Bulletin is too anxious to bash Insure.com.” He decided it was a priority to take the time to write these comments, and yet he hasn’t found it to be a priority to simply have someone hit the delete button on the false information promoted by Insure.com. The remedy for all this is incredibly simple.

But instead of doing the reasonable and sensible thing, Mr. Bland continues to stake his reputation and that of his publicly-traded company in defending these anti-gay smears. More startling, he continues to tie this reputation to that of Paul Cameron, a man who:

  • once said that “unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals,”
  • wrote approvingly of how the Nazi’s “dealt with” homosexuality at the Dachau and Sachsenhausen concentration camps,
  • and who just last month urged a group of Russian ultra-nationalists to press on with their often-violent suppression of gays in that country.

We frankly find this to be both puzzling and troubling.

Mr. Bland claims that he is not homophobic and that Insure.com does not have an agenda. We believe that the “growing body of evidence” suggests otherwise.

See also:
Aug 15: Insure.com Pulls Cameron Quotes
Jul 17: Certified Cameronite: Insure.com
Jul 14: Insure.com CEO Defends Paul Cameron
Jul 11: Insure.com’s CEO Bob Bland Responds
Jul 11: Insure.com’s Anti-Gay Propaganda

Insure.com’s CEO Bob Bland Responds

Timothy Kincaid

July 11th, 2008

insuredotcom.bmpEarlier today we reported that we have been trying for over a month to get Insure.com to remove false and defamatory articles from their website. Specifically, the articles – which were written by Insure.com staff – rely on a non-representative AIDS study from the early 90’s and fraudulent “researcher” Paul Cameron to claim “the life expectancy of gay males to be at least 20 years below average”.

The CEO of Insure.com, Bob Bland, has replied:

Box Turtle Bulletin is too anxious to bash Insure.com and you posted private e-mails from me to you without my permission, which says more about you than me. I’ve been open and forthright in dealing with Box Turtle’s many recent inquiries.

The article(s) you’ve referenced are but one or two over 3,000 that we have posted at Insure.com since 1996.

This particular article talks about third party studies that have claimed that homosexuals have a markedly different life expectancy than heterosexuals. We posted this as a human interest story from an actuarial standpoint and without any political agenda whatsoever and without comment as to the accuracy of the third party research.

One’s sexual orientation has no bearing on how a life insurance agency, including ours, would go about quoting life insurance.

We represent 35 leading life insurance companies and do not know of any that ask about sexual orientation at the time of quoting or at anytime during underwriting. Furthermore, sexual orientation is NOT considered or asked about in the quoting or underwriting of a life insurance policy. When quoting a life insurance policy, we, as an agent and broker, ask only those questions that are required to be asked by each life insurance company, which is typically an exhaustive set of 50-100 questions about one’s health history, past and current. Every U.S. life insurance company that I know of does ask each applicant if they are HIV positive and, to the best of my knowledge, each company will automatically then decline such an applicant, so apparently the life underwriters are convinced that that medical condition is somehow relative to one’s longevity.

As I explained to you earlier this week we’ve been delayed in having our writers and editors take a another look at this article, but still expect to do so over the next 4 weeks because we want to make certain that we encompass all available current research on this topic.

Once again, Insure.com has no political agenda on this issue and never has had any such agenda.

The Insure.com article making the claim that gay men die 20 years younger remains an available part of the “impartial insurance information” provided in their “vast library of originally authored insurance articles and decision-making tools” while Mr. Bland makes certain that he encompasses all available current research on this topic.

See also:
Aug 15: Insure.com Pulls Cameron Quotes
Jul 17: Certified Cameronite: Insure.com
Jul 14: Insure.com CEO Defends Paul Cameron
Jul 11: Insure.com’s CEO Bob Bland Responds
Jul 11: Insure.com’s Anti-Gay Propaganda

Insure.com’s Anti-Gay Propaganda

Timothy Kincaid

July 11th, 2008

insuredotcom.bmpThe trend in business relations has been towards an acceptance and welcoming of gay and lesbian clients and appreciation of them as customers. This may be because of the perception that product loyalty is particularly strong in gay consumers or because businesses generally believe that moralistic rants drive away not only gay customers but also those who love them.

Which made it all the more surprising to find that Insure.com, an online insurance purveyor, has been hosting articles that make false and defamatory statements about gay men and women.

Gay Mortality Claims
Insure.com is a publicly traded company with an advisory board ranging from a former US Senator to executives with various companies, including AT&T. The company is a major sponsor of Bill O’Reilly’s radio talk show and Bill gives voice to their commercial.

In addition to selling insurance, they provide information about the insurance industry. Joe White, an employee and company blog contributor, wrote two pieces in which he claimed that “being gay” was a health risk, and not just a minor one.

In an article on the business website entitled Top five ways to kill yourself and get away with it, White lists the number one way to kill yourself:

1. Being gay. A gay lifestyle is by far the biggest risk to life expectancy that goes unrecognized by insurance companies. The question has been considered by multiple studies, and the gay lifestyle is universally acknowledged to decrease life expectancy. A conservative estimate is that a gay lifestyle takes away 8-20 years from the average lifespan.

In other words, living a homosexual lifestyle has health risks at least as severe as smoking (by some estimates even more), but due to the sensitive nature of the issue, life insurance companies don’t charge different rates for gays. So gays save money on life insurance at the same rate they die young.

White bases his Number One self-killer information on another insure.com article he authored, Gay men die 20 years younger.

It’s a loaded subject, but let’s get right down to it: gay men, on average, die significantly younger than the rest of the population.

Vancouver Study
Part of the bases for White’s wild claim is an extrapolation from a 1997 study from Robert Hogg entitled Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men. It was based on research performed in Vancouver from 1987 through 1992. The question that they were trying to answer was not the mortality of gay men, but rather the impact that HIV might have on the gay population.

White acknowledges that this study was of HIV positive individuals but then says something curious: “Many who read the study, however, understood it to categorize the gay lifestyle as inherently hazardous.”

Perhaps recognizing that “Impact” means the opposite of “inherently”, White did not reveal the name of the study. Further, the only persons who read some inherent hazard into sexual orientation were anti-gay activists and writers. In fact, this so annoyed the authors that they responded to the claims of anti-gays with a letter of clarification.

Mr. White was aware of the letter; he references part of it.

In the same letter, the researchers reiterated their original claim, that a gay man in Vancouver had the same life expectancy as a Canadian man in 1870, 8-21 years shorter than the average male today.

The wording in the letter is

The aim of our research was never to spread more homophobia, but to demonstrate to an international audience how the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men can be estimated from limited vital statistics data. In our paper, we demonstrated that in a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 21 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality continued, we estimated that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years would not reach their 65th birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre were experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by men in Canada in the year 1871.

That does sound ominous, if you stop there. Which is exactly what Mr. White chose to do. He opted to eliminate the substance of the words following this quote:

In contrast, if we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved. Deaths from HIV infection have declined dramatically in this population since 1996. As we have previously reported there has been a threefold decrease in mortality in Vancouver as well as in other parts of British Columbia .

It is essential to note that the life expectancy of any population is a descriptive and not a prescriptive mesaure. Death is a product of the way a person lives and what physical and environmental hazards he or she faces everyday. It cannot be attributed solely to their sexual orientation or any other ethnic or social factor. If estimates of an individual gay and bisexual man’s risk of death is truly needed for legal or other purposes, then people making these estimates should use the same actuarial tables that are used for all other males in that population. Gay and bisexual men are included in the construction of official population-based tables and therefore these tables for all males are the appropriate ones to be used.

This is a most curious edit. By leaving out the above paragraphs, White leaves the reader believing exactly the opposite what the authors intended. They did not “reiterate their original claim”; rather, they reported that circumstances had changed significantly and that their statistics were no longer applicable.

While Vancouver during the late 80’s may have had a large number of HIV positive individuals, and while they may have been dying young, this cannot be extrapolated to any other geographic region or time.

Paul Cameron
But Mr. White did not rely solely on the Vancouver study (with selectively eliminated information). He also based his claims on a familiar source, Paul Cameron.

In 2005, Dr. Paul Cameron, the President of the Family Research Institute, published a study in Psychological Reports that confirmed a 20-year life expectancy gap for actively gay men. Researchers performed the study by examining gay obituaries and comparing them with data from the Center for Disease Control. Both data sets put the average age of death for gay men about 20 years younger than average.

Those of us who are familiar with Cameron and his followers know that these claims are fraudulent. But others relying on White’s claims might not know that Dr. Paul Cameron has been thoroughly discredited.

He has been dropped from the American Psychological Association, condemned by the Nebraska Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, and the Canadian Psychological Association and been barred from presenting himself as an “expert” in at least one courtroom. And even the anti-gay fringe disavowed Cameron after he lauded Rudolph Höss, the camp commandant of Auschwitz, and his efforts to eradicate homosexuality.

White takes the outdated Vancouver study, combines it with Cameron’s bogus “research” and declares:

this revised estimate would establish the life expectancy of gay males to be at least 20 years below average.

This classifies gay men with a graver risk of mortality than smokers and the obese—perhaps the highest mortality risk for any demographic its size.

Are there Mortality Variances?
To the best of my knowledge, there have been no serious studies that reveal any difference in average age of death between heterosexual and homosexual persons. But that does not mean that such a difference does not exist.

Various demographics of persons do have different average life expectancies.

Many factors impact life expectancy – genetics, diet, exercise, smoking, drugs and alcohol, stress, marital status, poverty, and many many more. And there are likely to be some characteristics that result from the social patterns found more often in the gay community.

But we cannot know whether the increased emphasis on diet, exercise, health, and body awareness leads to a measurable average increase in life expectancy. Nor can we know whether a higher incidence of drug use or stress related to discrimination or rejection leads to a measurable decrease. We don’t even know if enough gay persons share enough stereotypical characteristics that these presumed risk factors can impact the gay population as a whole.

During the 80’s and early 90’s we know that deaths from AIDS related illnesses impacted the gay community much more severely than the population at large. But current drug regimens have brought the life expectancy for some HIV positive persons to be nearly that of non-infected persons. And even if there is some reduction due to HIV infection, this subpopulation is only about 15% of gay men and no measurable percentage of lesbians.

Perhaps there is some mortality variance, but neither White nor myself have any idea as to what it might be. And only a highly irresponsible insurance provider would provide to its clients “information” that is both defaming and demonstrably false.

Corporate Response
On June 1, we contacted the Robert “Bob” Bland, the CEO of Insure.com and informed him that his company was hosting articles that were factually inaccurate and based on the work of an anti-gay activist that had been discredited.

Bland responded that because the articles were based on third party studies and not original research they would require time to do fact-checking. He did not pull the articles.

We offered to provide Bland with additional information, if needed. He responded:

I may, thank you. We want to do a wider-ranging issue that is fair and balanced and include more research and debate, maybe even quotes from you and your organization.

Can you give me a list of studies or links regarding gay male life expectancy that you think may be valid? Or are you saying that there’s no difference in mortality there?

We discovered that, while the 35 major life insurance companies do not ask about sexual orientation, virtually all of them immediately decline any applicant who is HIV positive, indicating to me that their actuaries have sound data showing reduced mortality for this group, just as they decline anybody who engages in risky hobbies or racing.

We provided Mr. Bland with thorough information about the invalidity of Whites sources as well as clarifying for him that HIV status does not equate to sexual orientation. He responded by repeating his “risky hobbies” comment. That was on June 12th.

On the 28th I wrote inquiring how the research was coming and whether they were going to continue to host the anti-gay articles on their site. Bland responded:

Other priorities came in front of this. This could take 1-4 more weeks as we have limited editorial resources. We’ve never hosted anti-homosexual articles at our site and have no corporate agenda on this issue whatsoever.

As of this writing, the Top Five Ways to Kill Yourself article is no longer at the web address. But those persons wishing to find fun insurance facts can still read that gay men die 20 years sooner, on average, than straight men. Mr. Bland has not clarified why he does not believe this to be an “anti-homosexual” article.

No doubt Insure.com does have some accurate information on their website. But considering the extent to which they are willing to accommodate and defend myth, lies, and homophobic ranting, I would be more trusting of a fast-talking guy with a bad toupee to accommodate my insurance buying needs.

See also:
Aug 15: Insure.com Pulls Cameron Quotes
Jul 17: Certified Cameronite: Insure.com
Jul 14: Insure.com CEO Defends Paul Cameron
Jul 11: Insure.com’s CEO Bob Bland Responds
Jul 11: Insure.com’s Anti-Gay Propaganda